Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni celebrated his first victory of 2016 Thursday, but some in the Ruta del Sol peloton were less enthused by the Cofidis rider’s stage 2 win.
Giant – Alpecin’s Simon Geschke expressed his frustration on Twitter, implying that Bouhanni was only able to rejoin the race after being pushed up the six-kilometer, category 3 Alto de Trassierra climb, which came late in the 186.3km day.
Not a fan of sprinters that get pushed up the last climb by teammates and then win the stage.
— Simon Geschke (@simongeschke) February 18, 2016
Though Geschke didn’t name the Cofidis rider, his claims were confirmed by another rider in the peloton, riding for a different team, who characterized the push Bouhanni took as “blatant.” The German’s complaints seem to be purely made on principle, as Giant – Alpecin did not have a sprinter in the mix at the finale — Geschke was the team’s top rider, finishing 19th.
If giving your teammate a helping hand up a hill sounds innocuous, it isn’t — UCI rule 2.3.012 states: “The pushing of one rider by another shall in all cases be forbidden, on pain of disqualification.”